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Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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07 Oct 2010, 2:52 pm

My 8 yr old daughter loves animals and she loves to play games that involve animals. Over the past month I've seen an increase in behavior of her meowing like a cat and barking and panting like a dog, at times also dropping to the floor and jumping like a dog, etc in public. 8O She's doing this around other children in an attempt to play with them. I've tried explaining to her that it's not something that is really going to help her make friends but she thinks it works because she can usually get the kids smiling and/or laughing (she doesn't recognize they are laughing AT her, not WITH her). Does anyone else deal with this?

Single mom to 8 yr old Aspie / ADHD girl.

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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07 Oct 2010, 3:09 pm

Hi yes my daughter used to love being a dog in particular, that was a favourite game for a long time, luckily she had a nt friend who loved being a dog too, so that wasn't a problem. They would drink water out of bowls on the floor, and push the real dog out of his basket and lie curled up in it. She's 12 now and doesnt do that anymore, so perhaps your daughter will grow out of it too. I loved being an animal myself as a child, I dont think it's so unusual for that age actually.


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07 Oct 2010, 6:37 pm

sometimes AS kids like to do this and it is ok , but othertimes it is a sign of stress. Socialization can be hard for AS kids and maybe the stress of being in public is causing her to "dehuminize" and it feels safer to process the situation as an animal than to process the complexity of socialization as a human. I did this alot as a kid myself and I was having hard time adjusting to new sibblings in the house and the attention they required. Another AS boy I knew, acted like a T-rex when his father was around, and it was later discovered that he was molesting him. He acted like a T-rex because it made him feel stronger.

She may be having trouble making friends and by acting like a dog, she feels safer in a non-human role and plus the fact that they laugh and pay attention to her enforces this behavior. It would be best to teach her skills in how to make friends and maintain them which could help ease the anxiety about how to socialize. There so needs to be a book on basics of non-spoken rules of social situations for aspies. I would write it myself, but I get it mixed up myself.

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.
-James Baldwin


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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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07 Oct 2010, 7:27 pm

jojobean wrote:
There so needs to be a book on basics of non-spoken rules of social situations for aspies. I would write it myself, but I get it mixed up myself.

"Friendships: The Aspie Way" by Wendy Lawson
"Your Life is Not a Label" by Jerry Newport
"Coping: A Survival Guide for People with Asperger's Syndrome" by Marc Seegar
(available free online at )
"Preparing for Life: the Complete Guide for Transitioning to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome" by Jed Baker
"Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond" by Jed Baker
"The Social Success Workbook for Teens" by Barbara Cooper
"Social Skills for Teenagers and Adults with Asperger's Syndrome" by Nancy J. Patrick
"A 5 is Against the Law: Social Boundaries: Straight Up!" by Kari Dunn Buron
"The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations" by Brenda Smith Myles
"Navigating the Social World: A Curriculum for Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and Related Disorders" by Jeannie McAfee

... and at least a dozen other similar books. These are just the ones I'm familiar with. There are a TON of books explaining the unspoken basics of social interaction for people on the autism spectrum (at virtually every age level) or their parents/caretakers.

"In the end, we decide if we're remembered for what happened to us or for what we did with it."
-- Randy K. Milholland

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